Mozilla classifies Facebook Messenger and WeChat as unreliable

The Mozilla Foundation released a new version of its ranking “Privacy not included”, a guide aimed at analyzing the privacy features of the most popular applications and devices on the market. The goal is to alert people about programs that access data improperly or do not offer the security promised to users.

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In the last ranking released, 21 video calling apps were analyzed, with a surprising negative highlight for three popular solutions in the world: Facebook Messenger, WeChat and Houseparty. The trio was tagged with the warning “Privacy not included” to highlight problems in terms of security, data collection, improper transfer of data, faulty encryption and use of poor artificial intelligence.

The three apps severely criticized by Mozilla (Image: Reproduction/Mozilla)

Slack was also criticized by Mozilla for not allowing the blocking of certain contacts — researchers from the owner of Firefox even made a petition sent to the company to add this feature — but nothing close to the three mentioned above.

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Video calls on the rise

Signal (free) and Threema (US$) 2,19) were highly praised by experts. In the analysis of the free messenger, Mozilla even jokes with the fact that the CEO of Facebook, Mark Zuckerberg, uses Signal instead of the solutions maintained by his own company, such as WhatsApp and Messenger.

The analysis points to the fact that Signal has never had a data breach and only collects telephone numbers, without passing them on to third parties for advertising purposes or as a form of monetization. This advertising issue is one of the biggest focuses of all security companies, which accuse Facebook of using users’ personal data to target advertising and capitalize on it.

With the Covid pandemic -19, video calling apps have gained momentum and have become a part of people’s lives. Even with the resumption of work and classroom classes, these programs seem to be here to stay, which is why Mozilla is concerned with people’s safety.

All the other apps had a minimally satisfactory performance in the analysis (Image: Playback/Mozilla)
In addition to the apps mentioned above, the foundation also analyzed Facetime, Viber, Discord, Google Meet, Microsoft Teams, Telegram, Zoom, WhatsApp and some others less well known to the general public. In the version of 2020, the list had 11 applications, that is, there was an addition of six new ones, precisely to encompass the growth of the functionality of remote calls.

Privacy Policy “Para Inglês Ver”

One Recurrent failure observed by the ranking are the apps’ privacy policies, considered illegible and lacking clearer language on pertinent issues, such as data retention period or how to request the deletion of personal information from servers.

Only eight of the 19 analyzed had what Mozilla considered “friendly” privacy information available to users. They also criticized companies like Microsoft for using privacy policies that make it difficult to know exactly what data certain platforms collect.

Although the picture looks negative, there are signs that more companies have improved their privacy capabilities. . This is the case with Zoom, so criticized in the past for security flaws, that it added end-to-end encryption, in addition to Discord and, whose password requirements are stricter today.

There is still hope for improvements in the scenery and works like Mozilla’s help to shed light on a theme that most users have no idea about. In addition to apps, there are also speakers, headphones, video games and other devices analyzed by the survey. Let the next edition of the ranking come!

Source: Mozilla

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